Relationships key for incoming SGA president

Ashli Morris, a junior political science major from Athens, was elected Student Government Association president.

Abby Taylor

Staff Writer

Ashli Morris, a junior political science major with a focus in international politics from Athens, was elected as the 2017 Student Government Association president on Wednesday, March 1.

Morris said she plans on making relationships with the student body and having students feel comfortable with coming to the SGA for help.

“I want a standard of a relationship with the student body and the SGA to be established this year that carries on,” Morris said. “I think once you have that, you can build on it so easily.”

Morris said that she views her role as advocating for students and their needs.

“To me, it means really that I have the responsibility of being the chief advocate for students and making sure that regardless of what agenda I’m bringing into this office, that I am also always putting the needs of the students first,” Morris said.

According to Morris, she is the second African-American female SGA president to be elected into office, the first being Micki Sims elected 17 years ago (1999-2000).

“That’s a heavy legacy (being an African-American female president), and it’s something that I’m really excited about,” Morris said. “It’s definitely motivating because it’s not something that will be taken lightly for years to come, so I’m really excited to do all that I can and bring my passions, bring my talents and the talents of everyone on my team.”

Morris is a part of the Army ROTC program and serves as company first sergeant, and next semester will be the company commander. Morris said that she has learned a lot from ROTC and plans to use what she has learned in office.

“Some things in ROTC come really naturally to me, but there are some things that I really have to work at to be good at,” Morris said. “Really giving me a sense of diligence and a sense of stability and order is something that I have definitely gained from ROTC.”

In addition to ROTC, Morris served as Freshman Forum president her freshman year, Freshman Forum director her sophomore year and currently an SGA senator at-large. Morris wants to use her experience from these positions to assist her as president.

“I think that the biggest understanding here just needs to be that students should know that if they want something done, if there’s a problem that they see on campus, bring it to us and we will take it to administration,” Morris said.

The SGA meets at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday, and the meetings are open to all students. Morris encourages students to come to the meetings to know what SGA is doing.

“Without the input of the students, without the backing of the students and without a relationship with the students, our job is not as effective as it could be,” Morris said.

Flexibility is important to Morris, and she said that she wants to help students the best she can during her time as president.

“If there’s something that the students bring to us (SGA) that is more important, then whatever is on my agenda gets pushed to the side so that we are doing the best that we can for the students,” Morris said.

Morris said that she is glad that the student body believed in her and elected her to be president.

“It is a huge honor, and it is something I am very, very excited about,” Morris said.

“Sometimes I wake up, and I feel like it’s still sinking in that my student body believed in the platform that I put forth enough to elect me in this position.”

According to Morris, aside from class and ROTC, she will be in the SGA office in Trojan Center 215 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and said that she hopes students will utilize that and go to her for anything.

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